PORTLAND — PORTopera will hold its first FILMfest this year and local artists are encouraged to take a cue from the company’s upcoming production of La Boheme and express the creative passion and joie de vivre of Maine’s young artists by entering the competition.

The contest is open to the public, with the stipulation that at least one member of each team must have been a high school or higher education student at some point within the past 24 months. FILMfest will offer cash prizes to the best writer-musician-filmmaker teams in Maine.

Interested groups or individuals will choose a melody from La Boheme and record an original version to use as the soundtrack to a short film (five-seven minutes long) written by the team. Entrants are asked to let the music of La Boheme be their guide while they follow the creative process wherever it takes them.

Entries will be judged by a panel of professional filmmakers and performance artists and prizes will be awarded to the top three entries, with a first prize of $1,000. Complete rules and information can be found on PORTopera’s website, portopera.org.

Submissions are due by 5 p.m., June 7 at PORTopera, 225 Commercial Street.

PORTopera is Maine’s only opera company performing fully staged operas with nationally and internationally acclaimed artists. This summer, La Boheme is scheduled for three performances: Wednesday, July 24; Friday, July 26; and Sunday, July 28 (matinee). For more information, visit www.portopera.org.

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